Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Engaging Men in Worship

The more I progress as an emerging worship leader, the more I see the distant and not-so-distant past converge. Drumming is the most recent example of this merging of past and present.

As a new church planter, I am constantly looking for ways to engage men in this congregation. One man I spoke with talked about the late night barbecues he has attended that attracts men. The men who attend do so during hunting season - they bring some of their - is catch the right word or maybe just animals? cook them over an open fire and celebrate fellowship outside in late October or early November. This seems to be one way to offer men a worship experience. The trouble is that late-October-early-November only comes once a year.

As I write this, I am visiting a friend who showed me her healing drum kit. In Penna, she joins an occasional group and drums - more, she drums at home, alone, as a way to relieve stress. Before Penna, in Colorado, there was a drumming group that met weekly as part of the men's participation in our United Church of Christ group. My late husband was an occasional part of that group. As a non-believer, he may have felt that drumming was not excatly worshiping. The interesting thing is that this group appealed to men (women were not invited) who might not ordinarily come to Sunday morning church. The rafters never fell in when they came to drum but not to worship. To broaden opportunities for men, I have thought of asking one of the men who does attend worship to begin a drumming group. I buy some drums and give him license to make this group what it will. If I step back, perhaps men will feel more welcome.

I cannot help but think that church is not just for women - Christ's official disciples were men. Women played an important role in the early church, but those who left their homes and livelihood and travelled with Jesus were men.

I invite comments and suggestions from readers about the drumming circles, the barbecue dinners or other ways to offer men a worship opportunity. In order to post a comment, you must sign in using one of the search engine options (e.g. "gmail" or "yahoo"). Creating one is free. I use both yahoo and gmail and on a computer that is not mine, I signed in using my yahoo email address.

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